Friday, July 31, 2015

With Benz leaving, WEEI's midday seat is up for grabs 

Earlier this week, after only 14 months Tim Benz had stepped down as the midday co-host of  "MFB" (Merloni, Fauria, Benz) on sports talker WEEI 93.7.(BRW 5/13/2014)

Boston-born and CT-raised Benz is returning to his adopted home of Pittsburgh where he had spent much of his sports radio career, where his wife, Kate, still works for Pittsburgh Tribune Review as the lifestyle/culture reporter and where a new sports radio gig supposedly awaits him. Last November, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that Benz was considered as a serious contender for a vacant morning host role at CBS-owned Fan 93.7.

While WEEI will run on-air auditions for the new midday co-host pretty much the entire month of August(call it a radio training camp), the new midday voice raises several intriguing possibilities for the station in revamping the show, which airs from 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday.

One option could be the return of WEEI’s legendary afternooner Glenn "Big O" Ordway who had done some vacation fill-in work on "Dennis and Callahan" morning show earlier this summer. Speaking of Ordway, his on-line "Big Show Unfiltered" afternoon show has been hiatus since mid-April.

Also considered to be very strong possibilities are former Patriots Radio Network host Gary Tanguay, WEEI's Sunday morning NFL show host Greg Dickerson; and WEEI's weekend ready-for-prime-time benchers Danny Picard and Christian Arcand are definitely in the mix. 

BRW Notebook :

Names and Voices : The second phase of WRKO 680's new lineup(BRW 6//25) kicked off this past week, when it replaced Mark Levin with “The Dave Ramsey Show” from 7 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday. An expert on personal finance and debt reduction, Ramsey is the author of five New York Times best-selling books, including The Total Money Makeover and Financial Peace. Ramsey's show focuses primarily on financial advice for listeners, but sometimes will move into various other topics including politics (Ramsey is conservative) and religion (Ramsey is a born-again, evangelical Christian). He hosts his self-syndicated show from a radio studio set up within his house in Brentwood, TN. He started in radio as the co-host of "The Money Game" in 1992, taking over the show and renaming it "The Dave Ramsey Show" in 1996. The self-syndicated program is heard on over 500 stations around the country and feeds live from 2pm to 5pm ET. As for Levin, he can now be heard on IheartMedia's new WKOX/"Talk 1430" from 9pm to Midnight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jamn makes a morning change - Ramiro's out, Frankie's in

In a move that may shock his loyal listeners, popular morning DJ Ramiro Torres Jr. has been replaced at WJMN/Jamn 94-5, it was announced by IheartMedia Boston earlier today.  As was mentioned only here first, Ramiro wasn't willing to negotiate a new contract with the station where he has been working for the past 21 years, in the morning drive since October 2001.(BRW 7/16/15). The station pulled him off the air after July 10th show. Jamn issued a statement regarding Ramiro's exit :: “Ramiro decided he did not want to renew his contract with us. We appreciate all the years he gave us. He’ll always be a member of the Jam’n family and we wish him well.”
Ramiro's replacement is a Framingham native, Frankie Vinci who arrives from another IheartMedia's Top 40 outlet in San Diego, KHTS/Channel 93.3. The new show is now re-branded as "The Jam'n Morning Show with Frankie and Ashlee" and debuts on Mon day, July 27 at 6am. Coming home is somewhat a bittersweet time for Frankie whose brother is Mikey V, the night DJ at sister station Kiss 108(BRW 11/25/13). Their dad passed away a little over a week ago.
Here is the official IheartMedia Boston press release on the morning show change at Jamn :
iHeartMedia Boston Announces the Debut of
"The Jam’n Morning Show with Frankie & Ashlee"

Boston – July 22, 2015 – iHeartMedia Boston announced today the debut of "The Jam’n Morning Show with Frankie & Ashlee," beginning Monday, July 27 on Jam'n 94.5, Boston's No. 1 for Hip-Hop.  Frankie Vinci will now join Ashlee Feldman to host mornings on Jam'n 94.5.

 "The Jam’n Morning Show with Frankie & Ashlee" will air weekday mornings from 6-10:00 a.m. ET. The new show will feature daily lifestyle discussions, entertainment and hip-hop music news with Ashlee’s Sleaze and “3 Things Your Friends are Talking About.”  The show will continue the long tradition of “Jam Scams” three times each morning. Frankie joins the Jam'n morning show from within iHeartMedia. He has hosted mornings on Channel 93.3 in San Diego since 2010. His experience on-air includes roles at KIIS-FM in Los Angeles, Kiss 95.7 in Hartford and at sister station Kiss 108 in Boston.  Frankie was born in Boston, raised in Framingham, Mass. and is very active within the community, supporting a number of charities including After School All Stars, Boys & Girls Club of America, St. Baldricks and Ronald McDonald House.

 “Frankie is one of our rising stars in iHeartMedia, and we are thrilled to be able to bring him back to Boston and Jam’n 94.5,”  said Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming, iHeartMedia Boston. "Frankie’s open, honest and vulnerable personality creates unique conversations that made him a success in San Diego.  Being a Boston kid and Jam’n fan growing up, I know Frankie understands this city, our music and the lifestyle of the Jam’n listener.  Pair that with Ashlee Feldman’s deep connection with the Jam’n audience and you have a show that will be fun, edgy and will give young Boston a real voice on the radio.”

 "People may wonder why I'm giving up the perfect weather of San Diego for the snow, rain and funny Boston accents, but Boston has been and always will be my home. Growing up I always listened to Jam'n 94.5 and now I am going to host the morning show.  Dreams do come true," said Frankie. Thank you to iHeartMedia for allowing me this opportunity to go home."
 Jam'n 94.5 is a leading media outlet in the Boston market and its programming and content are available across multiple platforms, including its broadcast stations; online via its branded digital sites; mobile; and social, with nationwide listening through iHeartRadio — with its more than 600 million downloads, more than 75 million social media followers and 87 million digital uniques across the Network.

BRW Notebook :

Morning drama : Speaking of morning changes, in the previous update it was mentioned that Jamn 94-5's big sister station Kiss 108 had cut its longtime Matty in The Morning executive producer Kendra Petrone. According to the Boston Herald's Inside Track, Petrone found out about her replacement while leaving the station when she checked her phone.  It turns out her corporate e-mail wasn't yet de-activated,  Kiss 108's competitor, AMP 103.3's TJ Taormina weighed in on the Herald's artcile. You can hear it here.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New addition to Matty in the Morning

WXKS 107.9/Kiss 108 announced that Medha Gandhi, great-great-granddaughter of one of the world's best known historic figures, Mahatma Gandhi,  will be the new executive producer of one of Boston's top-rated morning drive shows -"Matty in the Morning Show". She replaces Kendra Petrone, who exits the show and Kiss 108 after 8 years.

Gandhi joins the "Matty in the Morning Show" from IheartMedia's Top 40 station WNCI  97.9 Columbus, Ohio where she has served as executive producer of the Dave and Jimmy show and their syndication network for the past eight years. She is an accomplished comedy writer, parody song producer and voice talent.


Here's the official release :

KISS 108 WELCOMES MEDHA GANDHI TO THE MATTY SHOW AS EXECUTIVE PRODUCER

Boston– July, 2015 – WXKS-FM 107.9 KISS 108, Boston's Number One Hit Music Station, announced that Medha Gandhi will be the new executive producer of the Matty in the Morning Show from 6a.m. to 10a.m. beginning today.

“I can’t wait for Medha to join the team here in Boston,” said Matt Siegel, host of the Matty in the Morning show.  “She has great passion and energy and will be a great addition to the show.”

“Medha will bring a new dimension to the Matty in the Morning Show!  She is a talented comedy writer and content creator who’s not afraid to speak her mind.  Plus she is wickedly funny!  No doubt she will energize the Matty team.” said Dylan Sprague, Senior Vice President of Programming for iHeartMedia Boston.

Medha joins the Matty in the Morning Show from WNCI in Columbus, Ohio where she has served as executive producer of the Dave and Jimmy show and their syndication network for the past eight years.  She is an accomplished comedy writer, parody song producer and voice talent. Medha is the great-great-granddaughter of Gandhi and is very involved with various charitable organizations like the MDA, The Alzheimer's Association, and many others. 

"Being a part of Dave & Jimmy was an amazing, life-changing experience. I will forever love them like family, but I can't even express how excited I am to get such a HUGE opportunity to work with guys like Matty, Dylan and the KISS 108 team," said Medha. "I'm SO GEEKED, and I've been working really HAHD on my accent."

Fans can also listen to KISS 108 FM on the station's website, www.KISS108.com, as well as on iHeartRadio.com and the iHeartRadio mobile app, iHeartMedia’s all-in-one music streaming and digital radio service. iHeartRadio is available across web, mobile phones, tablets, automotive partners, smart TVs, gaming devices and more.

iHeartRadio is free for listeners to use and delivers everything listeners want in an all-in-one platform: Instant access to thousands radio stations from across the country, user-created Custom Stations inspired by a favorite artist or song, thousands of curated digital stations "Perfect For" any mood or activity, and a Podcast feature giving users access to the best on-demand news, talk and entertainment content available today.  To see all available platforms and to download the app, visit iHeartRadio.com/apps.

About iHeartMedia Boston:
iHeartMedia Boston owns and operates WXKS-FM, WXKS-AM, WXKS-HD, WJMN-FM, WBWL-FM, WKOX-AM and is part of iHeartMedia.  With 245 million monthly listeners in the U.S., 97 million monthly digital uniques and 196 million monthly consumers of its Total Traffic and Weather Network, iHeartMedia has the largest reach of any radio or television outlet in America.  It serves over 150 markets through 858 owned radio stations, and the company’s radio stations and content can be heard on AM/FM, HD digital radio, satellite radio, on the Internet at iHeartRadio.com and on the company’s radio station websites, on the iHeartRadio mobile app, in enhanced auto dashes, on tablets and smartphones, and on gaming consoles. 
 


iHeartRadio, iHeartMedia’s digital radio platform, is the No. 1 all-in-one digital audio service with over 500 million downloads; it reached its first 20 million registered users faster than any digital service in Internet history and reached 60 million users faster than any other radio or digital music service and even faster than Facebook.  The company’s operations include radio broadcasting, online, mobile, digital and social media, live concerts and events, syndication, music research services and independent media representation.  For more company information visit iHeartMedia.com


# # #


BRW Notebook :

Seacrest in : In related Kiss 108 news, Ryan Seacrest has reupped with iHeart Media for three more years, keeping the radio component of his media empire intact.

Terms of the deal were not announced, but it is believed to include a healthy raise from his last contract, which ran about $25 million a year.

Seacrest, 40, who is heard mid-days(10am-2pm) on Kiss 108, will keep his daily show and his weekly features, including "American Top 40 Countdown" which is heard on Kiss on Sundays(8am-Noon).

He also will continue as a corporate adviser with iHeart, working on special events and corporate branding.


Names and Voices : The Super Bowl champs Patriots' first pre-season game is only 4 weeks away, and their radio network will have a brand new pre and postgame crew after the past 10 years. As first reported by Boston Globe's sports media writer Chad Finn back in January, Gary Tanguay and Andy Gresh are gone as co-hosts. Marc Bertrand who replaced Gresh back in mid-February(BRW 2/15)  on the station's midday show was also named as the new pre-game and post-game host in the same announcement. The remaining piece of the Patriots Radio Network puzzle was completed on Thursday(7/16) as Bertrand's former Saturday morning show partner, Chris Gasper of the Boston Globe has been officially named as co-host of the Patriots radio pregame show. Gasper was a contributor to Patriots Preview for the last 8 years but now enters into a bigger co-host role on a 3-hour pregame.

Recognition time : South Shore's AC station WATD 95.9 in partnership with The Raynham Channel, has won the national Hometown Media Award for their local music show "Almost Famous". WATD's Music Director John Shea  created Almost Famous 4 years ago to showcase indie artists from the emerging Boston music scene. The Raynham Channel (based in Raynham MA) has been filming the live in-studio performances since last year. The winning show was aired on October 7, 2014 and features singer-songwriter Christa Gniadek. The award will be presented to The Raynham Channel by the Alliance for Community Media which recognizes excellence in Community Access TV.  The video producer was Margaux Fortier. The award ceremony will be held on Thursday, August 13 during the Alliance for Community Media Annual Conference at the Hilton Pasadena in Pasadena, CA,....National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced the finalists for the 2015 NAB Marconi Radio Awards, honoring radio stations and on-air personalities for excellence in broadcasting. Some Chicago stations and shows made the short list of finalists. Two Boston radio entries are both in the same category this year: WZLX 100.7's midday man Carter Allan an WBZ 98.5 the SportsHub's afternoon team "Felger and Mazz' are nominated for Major Market Personality of the Year. Marconi winners will be announced during this year's annual NAB Radio Show in Atlanta on October 2nd.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ramiro gets yanked off the air at JAMN

IheartMedia Boston's management has made a decision to pull WJMN/Jamn 94-5's morning host Ramiro Torres off the air starting this week. According to very reliable sources, the host of 'Ramiro and the JAM'N Morning Show' has time left on his current contract but wouldn't negotiate a new deal with station's management. According to sources, his move may be interpreted as a signal that he may have another opportunity lined up inside or outside Boston radio market. Torres had started Jam'n as a weekend part-timer back in 1994 and took over morning show duties in October 2001 after the station parted ways with Baltazar Ibanez. Ironically, Baltazar returned to Boston in early 2013 and made a brief reunion with former Jamn co-host Pebbles at the rival WBQT/Hot 96.9.(BRW 8/19/04). Hot 96.9 which debuted back in January 2013 is being programmed by Jamn's former PD "Cadillac" Jack McCarthy.

No indication that Torres might be headed to Hot 96-9 to reunite with Pebbls and Cadillac Jack once his contract at Jamn is up but that's always a possibility. In the meantime, Jamn's morning co-host Ashlee Feldman has been paired up with afternoon host "Maverik"(Kahleil Blair) to hold the fort. Ramiro's bio is still up on station's website but all on-air elements relating to his morning show have been pulled.

Stay tuned...


BRW Notebook :

Names and voices : The revolving door at talker WMEX 1510 has begun to spin, Joe "The Guy From Boston" Ligotti is out of the morning drive after 5 weeks and replaced by "The Renegades" co-hosted by station's co-owner Bryan Berner and John Pica.  "Political Reality" with Vincent Errichetti takes their place from Noon to 3pm...After 10 years with Entercom Boston, the last five as its executive producer and program director at WRKO 680, Bill Cooksey has left the Shoe Building last Friday to pursue a new opportunity...Fake or real. The alleged feud between WEEI's morning guys is breaking up the monotony of a slow-moving baseball all-star week...


Friday, July 3, 2015

Sue Tabb named as new Morning Magic co-host


Sue Tabb has been named as co-host of Morning Magic with David O’Leary on WMJX/Magic 106.7. Tabb has been working at Magic since March 2013 as traffic/news reporter and fill-in personality on the morning show and as co-host of station's public affairs program "Exceptional Women" She replaces veteran Candy O'Terry who left Magic three months ago(BRW 3/27).

Tabb started her radio career as the traffic reporter and sidekick on Kiss 108’s Matty in the Morning show for five years(1995-2000) before leaving to spend time with her young children.  Since then, she has had a successful career in the public relations industry. She has also worked as a television news writer, magazine editor and lifestyle columnist.

BRW Notebook :

Names and Voices : Newsmax.com has released its picks for its 2015 Most Influential Local Talk Radio Shows in America. Newsmax says that all the local hosts who made the list of the 50 most influential local shows “have put into action in their own communities an American spirit not unlike that of the Founding Fathers when faced with their era’s threats to liberty.” WRKO 680's afternoon driver Howie Carr came in 3rd and Rush Limbaugh's midday replacement Jeff Kuhner ranked 8th...After 3 years with WGBH 89.7, anchor/producer/general assignment reporter Anne Mostue is shifting to WXKS/Bloomberg 1200 as Boston-based news anchor/report

Sampling the rosters : Boston Globe's sports media writer Chad Finn rates weekday lineups at WEEI/SportsRadio 93.7 and WBZ/98.5 The Sports Hub.

Red, White and Radio : If you can't be at the Hatch Shell in person as Keith Lockhart celebrates his 20th year as conductor of the Pops at the 42nd Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular on July 4, both WBZ 1030 and WCRB 99.5 will once again provide the live broadcast from 8pm to 11pm. WBZ's coverage begins at 7pm and will be hosted by weekend host Jordan Rich and morning drive news anchor Joe Mathieu. A live streamcast of the concert will be available on-line at www.cbsboston.com and www.bostonpopsjuly4th.org. Over on Classical 99.5, by Ron Della Chiesa and morning drive host Laura Carlo will once again preside over the annual broadcast which begins at 8pm and leads into the concert at 8:30pm.

It's all business : The incoming new owner of WMKI 1260, Salem Communications Corp., is planning to launch a new format focusing on business news as the company has formally requested  new call letters WBIX with the Federal Communications Commission. As you may recall, WBIX was a troubled business/financial news station on AM 1060 from 2001 to 2010.

As for 5,000watt WMKI 1260, it has aired Radio Disney programming since 1997 and was sold to Salem last month for $500,000(BRW 6/6). It was initially expected that Salem would convert 1260 to its national conservative talk radio format "The Answer", but with what seems like a glut of talk radio on AM dial(680,1430 and 1510) in Boston, business format seemed like a better option.

The new station will likely be part of Salem's 10-station Wall Street Business Network and feature a lineup of financial experts, business talk and nationally recognized Bloomberg programming.

Camarillo-based Salem currently has three AM frequencies in Boston - it operates two Christian talk stations - WEZE 590/The Word and WROL 950/The Spirit; a Spanish language Christian talk station - WWDJ 1105/Radio Luz.